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The Centre is likely to soon extend its flagship programme — Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) — currently applicable to eligible pregnant women and lactating mothers for the first child in the family to the second one — only if the child born is a girl.
Besides this, written consent and the Aadhaar of the husband will not be a mandatory criteria in the modified guidelines of PMMVY in order to facilitate inclusion of single and abandoned mothers.
Under the centrally sponsored PMMVY scheme, maternity benefit of Rs 5,000 is provided in three installments to eligible pregnant women and lactating mothers for the first living child of the family.
In a writen response to a question in Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Parliament session on whether the government plans to extend the scheme beyond the first birth order, the minister for women and child development Smriti Irani said, “As per the recommendations of the expenditure finance committee’s minutes on Mission Shakti, benefits for second child may be provided only if the second child is a girl to discourage pre-birth-sex selection and promote the girl child.”
It is learnt from sources that the recommended extension of scheme is expected to be implemented after the revised guidelines under Mission Shakti are issued by the WCD ministry. The PMMVY is estimated to cover 51.70 lakh beneficiaries annually.